Fifty Best Books of the Year Award

Maria: The Potter of San Ildefonso.

Margaret Lefranc received the Fifty Best Books of the Year Award in 1948 for illustrating Maria: The Potter of San Ildefonso.

The Fifty Best Books of the Year was presented by the Library of Congress in conjunction with The American Institute of Graphic Arts. The catalogue of the 27th Annual Exhibition was inaugurated simultaneously during the month of April 1948 in five American cities: Boston, Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D. C. The purpose of the simultaneous opening was to focus public attention upon the values of good bookmaking.

Margaret, Governor Bruce King and Sandra McKenzie

Margaret, Governor Bruce King and Sandra McKenzie

In 1948 Margaret was unable to attend the award ceremonies, but in 1992 Sandra McKenzie arranged for it to be sent to Santa Fe, New Mexico. At the opening of Lefranc’s 1992 exhibition, 3 Women Working in New Mexico, then Governor Bruce King presented the long overdue award to the artist.

Lefranc’s illustrations for Indians of the Four Corners (1952) were similarly honored with a One Hundred Best Books of the Year Award.

From 1948 through 1977, Lefranc also illustrated books Dance Around the Sun (1977), Hell on Horses and Women (1953), The Valley Below and Indians on Horseback (both in 1948), as well as illustrating numerous issues for Southwest Review and Sunstone Review.

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